New York City’s deadly overdose epidemic has literally arrived in the NYPD’s own backyard.
Just days after the Police Department announced its surrender in the War on Drugs — an Oct. 8 memo ordering cops to do nothing if they see drug users with needles in public — a man was found dead in a park behind 1 Police Plaza, his body gruesomely draped over a wrought-iron fence.
The corpse was found 256 feet from police headquarters, where the commissioner has a 14th-floor office.
“It looks like an overdose,” said an EMS insider of the unidentified man, described as homeless and in his 50s. No official cause of death has been released, pending the medical examiner’s report.
The contorted body — which had “been there a while” and already hours into rigor mortis, according to the EMS insider — was discovered in James Madison Plaza. Manned and gated security entrances to police headquarters are right outside the park.
“The real failure is the NYPD who did not spot this right away,” the EMS insider said, snarking, “They probably said, ‘Let him sleep it off.”
After the discovery, the NYPD put an officer on patrol in the park and installed a mobile light stanchion to illuminate the area at night.
Eight days before the tragedy, the NYPD issued a directive telling officers to “take no action” when confronted with addicts using needles. The order was given the day after Gov. Hochul signed a new law decriminalizing possession of needles and syringes, even those with drug residue in them.
The new law and codified lax enforcement comes with the city in the midst of a massive wave of drug-fueled deaths.
The Centers for Disease Control recently reported that 2,243 people died from drug overdoses in New York City for the 12-month period that ended March 31 — a staggering 36 percent increase in OD deaths from the year before.
Law-enforcement officials say deadly fentanyl and methamphetamines manufactured in Mexican drug labs are shipped into the United States amid the border crisis and quickly make their way into New York City, increasing the lethality of street drugs.
City health officials reported earlier this year that fentanyl has helped fuel New York’s overdose epidemic.
Crime in the area around 1PP has skyrocketed this year, too, as it has around the rest of the city. Yearly NYPD data through Oct. 17 for the 5th Precinct shows that murders are up 400 percent (1 to 5); rape 17 percent (12 to 14); grand larcenies 19 percent (258 to 307); and auto theft 39 percent (18 to 25).
A police source blamed lame duck Mayor de Blasio for the crisis.
“Everyone is dying from this bad, bad s—,” the cop told The Post. “It’s a mess and you don’t hear nothing from this Bozo mayor. He tapped out a long time ago.
“This one was behind 1 PP so that made it a story. But this is happening all over. There’s a pandemic in the parks.”
Additional reporting by Susan Edelman.